The ultimate travel guide: where to book, what to expect and what to do in case of changes?

From free testing to free rebookings and more flexibility regarding destinations, insurances, etc. ... Find out what to expect in the travel world and how to plan your next holiday successfully and safely.

If you are searching for the cheapest flights, GoOpti is a huge time saver!

1If you are searching for the cheapest flights, GoOpti is a huge time saver!

A year after the disruption of our daily lives, public events, concerts, performances and travels, things have not yet returned to normal, and they probably won't. After more than 12 months of being in a "state of emergency ", we can no longer talk about a return to the old, but must find the best way to adapt to this "new normality".

Many have already done this successfully, particularly in the travel industry, which is slowly recovering. Despite the still unpredictable situation, the situation in most European and world cities is expected to return to a roughly normal state by this summer. So why not treat yourself to a trip and a break from everyday life?

If you've been thinking about booking a trip for a while and you're not sure how to go about it, take a look at our guide. We've gathered some useful information from the world of travel.

Airline industry
Accommodation
Airport transfer
Upcoming trends
Useful links

AIRLINE INDUSTRY

Book now, travel or change your flight for free later

The airline industry is one of the industries that has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, but it is successfully adapting to the wishes and needs of passengers.

Most travellers are concerned about how their travel experience will change, how safe air travel is and whether it is worth booking tickets in advance. Fortunately, most airlines have already adapted to the situation; safety and hygiene are at the forefront of airlines' minds, as is flexibility in booking and changing or cancelling trips.

Search Radius

2Search Radius

Hygiene and safety measures

Back in May 2020, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) published a series of safety protocols for the aviation sector to help ensure a coordinated approach to air travel, supported by medical evidence. Most airports and airlines have put in place all the security measures necessary to ensure that passengers travel safely and peacefully.

What can you expect on your next plane journey?

  • Most airports and companies allow and support the use of contactless technology, including contactless check-in.
  • Airports also place physical distance markers on the ground at check-in points and gates.
  • Precautions and disinfection at gates have also been increased and most have introduced new procedures for boarding and disembarking passengers.
  • On some routes, the airline may ask you to fill in a medical form to confirm that you are symptom-free and able to travel.
  • Some airlines measure your temperature at check-in and again at boarding.
  • There are also stricter measures on cleaning procedures, including disinfecting aircraft before take-off. Deep cleaning of carpets, seats and other frequently touched surfaces.
  • Some airlines also apply a disinfectant spray or fog to all interior surfaces.
  • The vast majority of commercial aircraft use high-efficiency HEPA filters, which greatly improve air quality.
  • Masks are still compulsory on planes and at airports, and in-flight food and beverage services may be limited.

Bookings, cancellations and other changes

Researches show that, in addition to hygiene measures, flexibility in booking is a key factor that can influence a passenger's decision when purchasing tickets.

Don't worry, it's just important to be well informed before you buy! Many airlines are more flexible about changes to travel dates or even destinations, and some offer completely free rebooking.

Check the cancellation terms of individual airlines:

easyJet

If you no longer wish to travel, you can change your flight for free up to 14 days before departure, but you may have to pay extra if the new flight is more expensive.

If your flight is cancelled, or even if your flight is NOT cancelled but you need to fly to or from your destination at a time when the country or region is subject to a government travel ban, you will have the following options:

Free flight change. This includes the option to choose a different airport for arrival and departure in the same country of the original booking.
A voucher for the full value of the ticket, valid for 12 months from the date of issue, allowing you to book travel anywhere on the easyJet network when you are ready to fly.
Request a refund.

More at >>>> easyJet Terms and Conditions

Ryanair

Ryanair has removed flight change fees for all new bookings made before 30 June 2021 for trips before 31 October 2021. This means you can now make up to two flight changes for trips before 31 October 2021. The Zero Change Fee promotion applies to bookings made after 10 June 2020. To take advantage of the free service, flight changes must be made at least 7 days before the original scheduled departure date. You may have to pay the difference in the price of the new ticket.

For more information visit >>>> Ryanair Terms and Conditions

Lufthansa

If you want to change your travel plans and have booked your ticket on or after 31 August 2020, you can change your travel date (as described in the ticket conditions) free of charge. It is also possible to change your class of travel, departure or destination airport. If the price of the new flight is higher, an additional fee may be payable.

If your flight is cancelled, you can book an alternative flight to the same destination and in the same class of travel once free of charge. If your ticket was issued before 31 August 2020, you can exchange it once for a new flight, including changes to the class of travel, departure or destination airport. The new journey must start no later than 31 December 2021. If the price of the new ticket is higher, an additional fee may apply.

For more information visit >>>> Lufthansa Terms and conditions

SAS Scandinavian Airlines

If you have booked an international air ticket, you can claim a free voucher equivalent in value to the original booking. You must request the voucher at least 3 days before your scheduled departure. You can use it to book a new flight to any SAS destination within the next 12 months.

If your flight is cancelled, you will receive a voucher or you can request a refund.

More at >>>> SAS Terms and Conditions

Wizz Air

Wizz Air offers you the possibility to purchase travel insurance to cover the costs of cancellation and Covid-19 medical treatments while travelling abroad. For example, if you contract Covid-19 abroad and incur additional costs due to an extended stay or treatment expenses during your illness, this will be covered by Wizz Air travel insurance (with an applicable maximum amount).
If, however, you have to cancel your trip because you have contracted Covid-19 before travelling, Wizz Air travel insurance will cover all cancellation costs.

Wizz Air Travel Insurance also covers lost, stolen or damaged baggage as well as missed departures, subject to applicable rules, conditions and exclusions.

In addition to travel insurance, Wizz Air also offers cancellation insurance in some countries. The cost of the insurance is automatically calculated and depends on the length of the trip.

More at >>>> Wizz Air Insurance Terms and Conditions

Our advice: Search for a cheap flight that suits you on platforms like Kiwi, Skyscanner, Google Flights, etc. Book your ticket directly on the airline's official website so you can easily change or cancel your trip if needed. If you change the date or flight, you will have to pay the difference in ticket price if the new flight is more expensive.

ACCOMMODATION

Complete flexibility

When it comes to choosing and booking an accommodation, research shows that more than 70% of travellers will only book an accommodation if they are sure that the facility implements and complies with the necessary safety and hygiene measures.

Fly anywhere

3Fly anywhere

What changes can you expect to see in hotels and private accommodation?

  • Most hotels and private establishments have stricter measures in place regarding cleaning procedures. Hotels are disinfecting frequently used and public areas more often and have mostly removed items such as books or newspapers to reduce the possibility of virus transmission.
  • Hand sanitisers, sprays and hygiene wipes are also available in most accommodation.
  • Some hotels require customers to wear a protective mask during their stay or arrival, and many have placed Plexiglas barriers on various tables to increase disinfection of frequently touched surfaces.

Bookings and cancellations

As the epidemiological situation remains unpredictable, accommodation booking platforms have also had to adapt and provide customers with greater transparency on cancellation conditions, refunds and other insurance options.

Check the cancellation policies of some of the most commonly used accommodation booking platforms:

Airbnb

Airbnb offers you the possibility to filter your search to find only accommodations with flexible cancellation options. At any time, you will have the option of a refund in accordance with the host's cancellation policy, or a full refund by submitting official documentation for review.

In case your travel plans have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you will have one or more of the following options, depending on the date of booking and the date of arrival:

  • Extenuating circumstances travel credit
  • Ask your host for a full refund

If you are ill due to a coronavirus infection, this circumstance is covered by AirBnb's standard Extenuating Circumstances Policy, and you can choose “I have an extenuating circumstance” when you cancel. In this case, you may receive a refund, credit and/or other form of compensation.

More at >>> AirBnb Terms and Conditions

Our advice: In private rented accommodation, contact with others is minimal compared to a hotel environment; experts say that private accommodation presents a low risk of virus transmission.

** Policies and cancellation conditions change frequently, so read them carefully before you decide to buy or book.

AIRPORT TRANSFER

Lots of choice and customisation

One of the most important parts of a trip, and one that inexperienced travellers most often put off until the last minute, is the transfer to and from the airport. But all passionate travellers, business travellers and parents used to travelling with children know that airport transfers are equally important and best booked in advance or at the same time as airline tickets.

A large number of travellers prefer organised transport to a private car, mainly because of the convenience, safety and peace of mind that such a service brings. Instead of worrying about driving, possible congestion on the road and the cost of tolls and parking, with an organised shuttle like GoOpti you can simply sit back and enjoy the view.

What can you expect if you choose to travel to the airport with GoOpti?

Hygiene and safety

  • You can choose the option of being picked up at home;
  • GoOpti vehicles are thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and ventilated after each journey;
  • Our GoOpti drivers are tested for Covid-19 every seven days with rapid tests;
  • Hand sanitizer is mandatory and will be provided before entering the vehicle;
  • All passengers and drivers must wear a protective mask for the duration of the transport.

Reservation and flexibility

GoOpti offers passengers a great deal of flexibility and choice between the following modes of transport:

PRIVATE TRANSPORT

GoOpti private transport allows you to book a transfer departing from your desired address at your desired time. There will be no other passengers in the transport, only those listed in your booking.

If you no longer wish to travel, you will be entitled to a discount code for the full amount of the price of the transport paid, in the following cases:

  • if you would have to travel to a country that you can only enter with a quarantine of 5 days or more without being able to revoke the quarantine decision with a negative PCR test or proof of vaccination;
  • if you have contracted Covid-19 and have proof in the form of a positive PCR test.

The code is valid for 1 year from the date you obtain it and can be used to purchase new GoOpti transport on any GoOpti route.

If you have booked a private refundable transfer you will be entitled to a refund in case of cancellation at least 24 hours before the transfer.

SHARED TRANSPORT

Shared services are more affordable transport services on regular GoOpti routes, where passengers with similar departure or arrival time preferences are grouped together in the same vehicle. Shared services can have fixed or flexible departure times.

If you have booked a shared transport and no longer wish to travel, you will be entitled to a discount code for the full amount of the fare paid, in the following cases:

  • if you would have to travel to a country that you can only enter with a quarantine of 5 days or more, without the possibility of revoking the quarantine decision, with a negative PCR test or proof of vaccination;
  • if you have contracted Covid-19 and have proof in the form of a positive PCR test.

The code is valid for 1 year from the date you obtain it and can be used to purchase new GoOpti transport on any GoOpti route.

Our tip: The price of GoOpti transfers is usually lower if you buy early, for more people or if you choose standard GoOpti boarding and drop-off locations.

>>> For more information, please check the Covid-19 travel cancellation terms and conditions.

Multi-city feature

4Multi-city feature

UPCOMING TRENDS

Long-term solutions and the COVID passport

One of the questions that often comes up when talking about travel is Covid passports. Although some people are not in favour of such a proposal, certain countries and companies have already introduced a form of Covid passport that will allow travellers to travel faster and easier between countries.

China has already introduced a system of digital health certificates for Covid-19 vaccination and/or SARS-CoV-2 test results. The certificate is accessible via the WeChat platform and includes QR codes which each country uses to obtain medical information about an individual.

A similar passport is being considered by a number of countries. On 17 March, the European Commission has already adopted a legislative proposal to introduce a common framework for a "digital green certificate" of vaccination, testing and disease recovery, which, once introduced, should be legally binding for all EU Member States. The digital certificate will facilitate movement of citizens within the EU, but should not be a condition for free movement. Travellers without the certificate will be able to travel but will be subject to self-isolation rules.

Greece was among the first to issue a digital certificate of vaccination against Covid-19 to its citizens, and similar certificates have already been introduced in Iceland, Denmark and Sweden.

Emirates, in partnership with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), became one of the first airlines in the world to test the IATA Travel Pass - a mobile app that helps passengers travel easily and safely in compliance with all government requirements for information on testing or vaccination against Covid-19.

Ryanair has launched the Covid-19 Travel Wallet, available only on the Ryanair app, which allows travellers to upload their negative PCR tests, vaccination certificates or other Covid documents that will be required for travel this summer.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) warns that this is a discriminatory measure because we are still in a stage where there is not enough vaccine available for everyone, and because there is a part of the population that cannot be vaccinated.

There is no denying that technology will play a key role in our travel experiences in the near future; from the digitisation of documents and health certificates, to virtual tours, ticket purchases and last-minute restaurant reservations. Technology offers many opportunities and helps us to reduce unnecessary contacts while finding what we are looking for faster and more efficiently.

>>> See which travel technologies will change air travel forever.

Interested in learning more? Find out what Iztok Franko, founder of Diggintravel.com, thinks about the future of travel after the pandemic.

USEFUL LINKS

Monitor the epidemiological situation and stay informed

Re-open.eu - entry conditions for EU Member States
IATA.com - travel information
ECDC - data on the number of infected people by country

Date range

5Date range

Flights + GoOpti transfer

6Flights + GoOpti transfer

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